San Francisco released a pair of players who had opt-out clauses in their minor-league contracts, cutting loose reliever Ramon Ramirez and infielder Wilson Valdez.
Valdez is a pretty typical utility infielder–although for a brief, hilarious time some Phillies fans loved him–but Ramirez has actually been a solid reliever with a 3.32 ERA in 438 career innings through age 30. He struggled with the Mets last season, but a lot of teams could do a lot worse in a middle relief gig.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that the Giants would like to re-sign Ramirez to a minor-league deal that doesn’t contain an opt-out clause if he can’t find a better situation elsewhere.
ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.
Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.
The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.
The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.
Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.
Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).